NewScientist (Oct. 15, 2012)
There’s a downside to everything. When humans evolved bigger brains, we became the smartest animal alive and were able to colonise the entire planet. But for our minds to expand, a new theory goes, our cells had to become less willing to commit suicide – and that may have made us more prone to cancer.
By getting rid of malfunctioning cells, apoptosis also prevents cells from growing into tumours. “Reduced apoptotic function is well known to be associated with cancer onset,” says John McDonald of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.